Tyler Reddick doesn’t want his reaction to what happened on the last lap last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway to look like he doesn’t care.
Chase Briscoe spun Reddick from the lead in Turn 3 on the last lap. Briscoe said he wanted to pull a slider but spun on entry to the corner and slid up into Reddick’s left rear. Both drivers spun, and Kyle Busch overtook Reddick in the final yards to the checkered flag.
“No, no, it still sucks,” Reddick said Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway. “Just because I didn’t lose my mind that doesn’t mean I’m OK with what happened. It still sucked. I wasn’t OK with it, but I understood it wasn’t intentional, in my opinion.”
Afterward, Briscoe did walk down pit road to apologize and understood if Reddick were to punch him. But Reddick kept saying “It’s all good” to Briscoe and, although disappointed, was very calm. The Richard Childress Racing driver even took the blame for letting Briscoe chase him down and be in a position to make such a move.
“I don’t feel like he went in there and tried to wreck me on purpose,” Reddick said. “I think it’s pretty obvious he tried to do the opposite once he realized it wasn’t going to work. It just worked out the way it did. Yeah, it still sucks, but the crazy part in all of this is I still finished second.”
Fighting wasn’t on Reddick’a mind. While he kept his head on his shoulders, he understood there were team members who were more outwardly upset. There are people he works with who have been racing at the Cup level, longer than he has, who haven’t won.
“And everybody’s path to how they got here and what their story is — we’re all a little different,” Reddick said. “So, I guess I can understand why they’re more outwardly frustrated than I was.”
Reddick has gone back and watched the video, mainly to see what he could have done differently.
Reddick’s reaction was also being colored by the move happening on dirt and not asphalt. As a driver with a dirt background, Reddick understood what Briscoe was trying to do.
“When you run on asphalt, you can kind of make slide jobs work at some racetracks that we have that are more wore out, but they’re pretty obvious,” Reddick said. “You can kind of see them coming. On dirt, you can be more aggressive with your moves just because you have a little bit less grip. You can be more aggressive with driving into the corner, sliding up the hill—that sort of thing.
“From my dirt racing background and his, I just feel like I look at that move differently than if it were on asphalt. If it would have been on concrete Bristol, yeah that move would have been a totally different story.”